Ideas for Elementary School Graduation
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50 ways to celebrate graduating elementary and middle schoolers.

by Rose Hamilton

05/06/2022

Editor’s note: While this article was written before the coronavirus pandemic, many of the ideas can be adapted to work for virtual or socially distanced situations.

Parent groups are often asked to help celebrate graduation from kindergarten, 5th grade, 8th grade, or anytime classes move up from one school to the next. Some schools go all out with diploma ceremonies akin to high school graduations, while others keep it simple and offer the students a small gift. Here are some great ideas for elementary and middle school graduation celebrations and gifts.

Celebrations

  • DJ dance party with games and snacks

  • Graduation ceremony followed by barbecue

  • "Congratulations, Graduate" yard signs

  • Graduation parade (drive-through or on foot)

  • Ceremony followed by photos and video of students

  • Glow dance party

  • Year-end Zoom or Google Classroom meetings or YouTube livestream

  • Sharing #graduation photos on Twitter

  • End-of-year awards and certificates ceremony

  • All-day picnic

  • Off-site party with DJ, photo booth, and face-painting

  • A day at a local park with team games and snacks

  • Yearbook signing event

  • Student vs. teacher outdoor volleyball tournament

  • Shout-outs to graduates on local TV networks and cable access channels

  • Pool party with snacks and reduced or free admission

  • Boat cruise

  • Bagel breakfast at school

  • Slideshow of graduates’ baby pictures

  • Graduation T-shirt signing with a candy buffet and photo booth

  • T-shirt tie-dye party

  • Photo booth with decorated background and props

  • All-night lock-in with music, games, contests, and snacks

  • Outdoor movie with popcorn and food trucks

Lots of balls in the air? Show those year-end PTO tasks who’s boss before summer

Graduation Gifts

  • Tumbler with high school graduation year on it, filled with a set of earbuds and candy

  • Class memory book

  • T-shirt printed with names of each graduate

  • Build-your-own-mascot kit for the school they’ll attend

  • T-shirt designed by a student

  • Plain T-shirt signed by fellow students

  • Class photo

  • Backpack, drawstring bag, or gym bag with middle school logo

  • School yearbook

  • Tote bag with beach towel, frisbee, and sunglasses

  • DVD with photos and video of fellow students

  • Spiritwear item from middle school they’ll attend

  • Personalized reusable water bottles

  • “Class of” T-shirt with high school graduation year

  • Laptop or Chromebook case (for school-supplied computers) with stickers of graduation year

  • School logo USB stick

  • Academic year organizer or planner

  • Small stuffed mascot wearing T-shirt with school logo or name

  • Candy lei or necklace

  • Theater-size box of candy with favors and a “A sweet ending to a great year” sticker

  • Pencil box with school logo sticker on it

  • Engraved key chain that reads “Graduation is the key to your future”

  • Congratulations pen with graduation year, to be used for yearbook signing

  • Bobblehead graduation picture frames with student’s photo

  • “Senior” T-shirt given to 4th graders, to wear in 5th grade

  • Sticker with inspiring quote

For more graduation T-shirt ideas, read T-Shirt Slogan and Design Ideas for 5th Grade Graduation (and More).

Originally posted in 2014 and updated regularly.

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